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Women are not second-class citizens



By Nathaniel Woodward

I know I should learn my lesson about writing about sensitive topics, especially to an audience in a state of a certain political persuasion, but this topic should be beyond politics.
The topic of sexual behavior has been extremely taboo in western society for just about as long as anybody can recall. In religiously dominated cultures the unfortunate trend has been that women are subservient to the dictates of men.
This is undisputed and easily proven. The sad truth is that women are second-class citizens.
This must stop now.
While sexual behavior is taboo what is even more hush-hush in our society is the topic of sexual abuse and assault, another tragedy. I am not going to reference the current case being “investigated” at this time to try and keep this post as neutral as possible but what I will say is I am not shocked at the response those of my gender and ethnicity have had towards it in large. That being said let me give you my two cents.
So here’s the deal my fellow XY Homo Sapiens, it is not up to us to tell women how to deal with, how to report, or how to fight back against sexual assault. It is our job to listen to them, be willing to understand them, believe them, and most of all it is up to us to follow their leadership.
It is not that we have lost the privilege of leading this fight, by our actions, inactions, or responses but because it is 2018 and its long-overdue that we stop fighting those who should lead the charge and assume leadership over a subject that overwhelmingly effects them much more than it affects us.
As a person who has been sexually assaulted myself as a very young man and never once came forward before this article, I have a shred of empathy and understanding of their situation. Yet by the very nature of my birth, gender, race, and privilege I cannot possibly fathom what it’s like to have to actively think on a daily basis about how I can avoid or prevent myself from being the victim of a sexual assault.
When was the last time a man made sure he had his pepper spray or taser before going on a run or even walking to his car? Ever?
Frankly, my fellow chromosomal counterparts we have failed women, in every respect we have failed to prevent, stop, or believe them about sexual assault.
So if you take anything away from this short article let it be this, no means no, a women’s outfit is not consent, a women’s sobriety or lack thereof is not consent, the fact that a women has engaged in sexual acts with you in the immediate past is not consent, rape and sexual assault are never in any circumstance the fault of the victim. Period.
And finally, when a women comes forward with claims of sexual assault, its high time we stop shaming them. The statistics show the number of those men falsely accused is fewer than 1 in 400 reports. We must do better. To my female friends, colleagues, family, strangers, and fellow citizens you will always have an ally in me.

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